Regardless of how enthusiastic or optimistic you are when you first step into the role of being a family caregiver for an elderly adult, you are at risk of experiencing caregiver fatigue. Also known as burnout, caregiver fatigue occurs when you are under extreme stress, and pushing yourself too hard in what you do on a daily basis. This can result in serious complications for your health and well-being, as well as for the quality of the care you give your parent. Being able to identify the early signs of caregiver fatigue enables you to intervene as soon as you start experiencing this strain so you can take the appropriate steps to resolve this fatigue, restore your health, and ensure your parent continues to get all of the care and support they need.
Some signs that you may be experiencing caregiver fatigue include:
- Feeling completely empty of energy and drive.
- Sleeping too much.
- Not being able to sleep enough.
- Losing weight when you are not trying to because of loss of appetite.
- Gaining weight because of overeating and eating unhealthy foods.
- Feeling hopeless in all that you do.
- Losing interest in activities you usually enjoy.
- No longer caring about taking care of your own care needs, such as no longer putting on makeup or doing your hair.
- Feeling dominated and controlled by your caregiver responsibilities.
- Feeling unduly anxious or worried about the future.
- Feeling unable to cope with basic daily experiences and events.
- Gastric distress.
- Higher instance of illness and infection.
- Feeling like you do not care as much about your parent’s needs, or about the quality of your care.
If you notice these symptoms, it is important to address them quickly before they become too severe. Rely on friends and family to provide support, and look into respite care to ensure your parent’s needs are met while giving you the break you need. Establishing or increasing home care for your parent can greatly reduce your stress, and help you to stay healthier throughout this care experience.
Protecting yourself from caregiver burnout is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you will continue to be the type of caregiver your parent needs and deserves. When you struggle with caregiver fatigue, you put your own health at risk, but also diminish your ability to care for your parent effectively. Making senior care a part of your parent’s care routine from as early as possible in your journey can prevent this. A senior home care services provider can step in to fill care gaps, manage tasks you are unable or uncomfortable doing, and free up your time and energy for your children, your marriage, your career, and even yourself. This relieves your stress, guards you from caregiver fatigue, and helps you to be the best caregiver you can be for your aging loved one.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from caregiver services in Oakland, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.